Oswego School Calendar Planning Under Way For Next Year; Late April Break Possible

By Bill Foley, OCT Contributing Writer
OSWEGO, NY – It is anticipated that the 2015-16 Oswego City School District calendar will be approved during a near future session of the board of education.

At the early January meeting, Superintendent of Schools Ben Halsey provided the board members with a draft of a proposed schedule for the next school year.

Halsey said, “The superintendents want consistency across the county.”

Lengthy discussion has been conducted among Oswego County superintendents and there could still be some adjustments to the proposed calendar.

One of the most glaring aspects of the proposal is the lateness of the April break.

The 2016 calendar draft showed that the break would commence on April 25 and the students would return to class on May 2. This would be the latest that the April break has been scheduled.

Halsey spent a substantial amount of time during his report in addressing some of the uniqueness of next year’s draft.

He said, “Labor Day is late and the proposal is to open before Labor Day.”

However, he continued, “We would have opening day before Labor Day for the professionals and there would be a professional development day. On Wednesday and Thursday the second and third, but buildings could be open on Friday, but there would not be required student or teacher attendance.”

Students will commence the new school year on Tuesday, September 8, and this will allow for the maximum number of days for the school year.

There will be a change from previous years for Thanksgiving recess.

“For Thanksgiving, we will not have Wednesday off,” Halsey explained.

Moving ahead to December, Halsey said, “There will be school on the twenty-first, twenty-second and twenty-third with students off on the twenty-fourth and Christmas. School will resumed on January 4.”

The February break will commence on the fifteenth and will be for a full week.

In March there will be a day off for Good Friday on the twenty-fifth.

Halsey then moved to April. He said, “There has been lengthy discussion as we are trying to be consistent with Onondaga County as well.”

He explained state testing is scheduled for early to mid-April and superintendents all agreed that they did not want to have any interruptions during March, thus the absence of a break around Easter.

Halsey said, “The April break will be from the twenty-fifth to the twenty-ninth and students will return to school on May 2.”

Board member Brian Haessig, a retired teacher, said, “It is a good idea not to have days off before the state testing.”

There are some inherent problems with the lateness of the break, especially sports.

The superintendent explained, “These are prime sports dates” as many teams will be heavily involved in league action by that time of the spring.

May showed the traditional Memorial Day as a holiday.

June appears to remain relatively the same as previous years as the last day of school would be Thursday June 23 with Oswego High School graduation two days later on June 25.

Once again there are 186 days and there are six snow days built in.

Superintendent Halsey closed by asking the board members “to give it thought and I will bring it back to the table to adopt in February.”

(Editor’s Note: This article was written based on comments at the meeting. The school district hasn’t released a copy of the tentative plan to the media.)